- Miss Wisconsin Grace Stanke was crowned Miss America 2023 on Thursday night.
- Stanke is the first nuclear engineer to compete in the Miss America competition.
- The 20-year-old student was awarded a $50,000 cash scholarship after taking the crown.
The next Miss America has been crowned.
Miss Wisconsin Grace Stanke won the 2023 Miss America competition at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, on Thursday night.
Stanke, a 20-year-old nuclear engineering student at the University of Wisconsin, was awarded a $50,000 cash scholarship. She also won the $2,500 talent scholarship earlier in the week after wowing the judges with a classical violin performance during the preliminary competition.
Miss New York Taryn Delanie Smith earned first runner-up, while Averie Bishop — the first Asian American Miss Texas winner — won second runner-up.
Stanke was crowned on Thursday night by Emma Broyles, who made history last year as the first Miss Alaska to win the crown and the first Korean American to win Miss America.
Stanke is the first nuclear engineer to compete in Miss America, according to Wisconsin Public Radio.
The student told WPR earlier this month that she always dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps and becoming an engineer.
Stanke recently launched “Clean energy, Cleaner future,” a social impact initiative that she hopes will teach people more about the benefits of nuclear energy.
“We’re at a point in time where our society is focusing more on zero carbon, but we’re also at a point in time where we’re quite literally running out of fossil fuels as a planet,” she told WPR.
The Miss America competition came two months after the Miss USA pageant made headlines after contestants claimed it was rigged in favor of Miss Texas.
Unlike the Miss USA pageant, Miss America no longer features swimsuit or evening gown competitions.